Long Beach Port feels pinch of inflation and rate hikes as September volumes slip

CONTINUED inflation and aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve have caused consumers to grow cautious, resulting in tempered cargo volumes at the Port of Long Beach, officials said.


The port moved 741,823 TEU in September, a nearly 1 per cent decrease from the same month last year, which was the port's second-busiest September in its 111-year history, according to Long Beach Business Journal.


Executive director Mario Cordero said in a statement: "Consumers and retailers are concerned about inflation, leading to warehouses filled with inventory and fewer product orders from Asia. The respite is leading to increased capacity on the docks and fewer ships waiting off the coast to enter the Port."


Imports into Long Beach decreased 7.4 per cent to 342,671 TEU, while exports increased 1.9 per cent to 112,940 TEU. The number of empty containers moving through the port jumped 7 per cent to 286,212 TEU.


Amid the pandemic, increased e-commerce and equipment shortages - among other issues - caused a severe bottleneck at the San Pedro Bay ports that resulted in a backlog of ships that reached 106 in January of this year.


The backlog was seven as of Monday and has been below 10 for most of the last month, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.


The port has moved 7.34 million TEU from January through September, up 3.5 per cent from the same period last year - 2021 was a record year. During the third quarter, however, container volumes were down 0.3 per cent compared to the same quarter last year.


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Long Beach Port feels pinch of inflation and rate hikes as September volumes slip
Long Beach Port feels pinch of inflation and rate hikes as September volumes slip